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 'Witts' Kraal

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90th

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PostSubject: Witt's Kraal    Wed Jun 06, 2018 8:18 am

Hi Frank
It may be a notation as you describe it scratch , Jackson states from the Records Of The 1/ 24th that Anstey ' gained the banks of the Manzimnyama' , it was certainly recorded by someone from the the 24th ( Black , Pen - Symons ? ) for it have been written in the record , why else would it say he made the banks of the Manzimnyama if he didn't ? , T.A. Anstey obviously knew where to look as he retrieved Edgar's Bloodstained Handkerchief ( Family Papers ), JW tantalizingly says there were more items recovered than just the bloody handkerchief , but doesn't give any information . To me it appears a far better chance he made the stream than he didn't , at least there's written evidence stating he got there .
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PostSubject: Re: 'Witts' Kraal   Wed Jun 06, 2018 8:48 am

Hi Gary
There is circumstantial evidence that he reached the Manzimyama, but no definitive proof. There is absolutely nothing that says he died there. All those cairns mark a central 'depot' for collected bodies not neccesarily where they fell. The same goes for the cairns on the opposite bank. Anstey could have died anywhere along that line from the line of 6 cairns down to the river.
The 'probability' he died in the area is there, but absolutely nothing that says he was part of that final fight.
Again I keep hearing that his brother knew where to look, an X marks the spot moment. He obviously knew the general area and searched, I doubt he had a precise location.
Its just my opinion, like you Ive spent hours wandering around the area, rebuilding that fight in my mind. from the 60 odd bodies in the L shape to the 30 odd in the straight line to the final amount down by the river. Those weren't bodies deposited in straight lines but collected over an area marking that retreat, probably an unbroken line, Anstey could have been at any part of that line.
IK is a good mate of yours, get him to put his b**s on the line and give a categorical statement that Anstery died on the river. Bet he wont.

Cheers Mate

PS I see your getting a new boss of Cricket Australia.
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PostSubject: Witt's Kraal    Wed Jun 06, 2018 9:08 am

Hi Frank
Two points , the Regimental Records state Anstey '' made '' the banks of the Manzimyama , if he didn't , it wouldnt' have been written as such ? . Don't forget his brother found his body , you would expect the Regimental records would be correct , quite possibly as evidenced by T.H.Anstey ? . I also have never read of evidence , stating the bodies at the Manzimnyama were indeed collected in bags , as those in the areas closer to Isandlwana , would be interested to see where that is evidenced . Yes Ian is a friend but he may not likely want to lose the Jewels , but I think he's be prepared to put his head on the block using the regimental records as evidence ! Very Happy
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PostSubject: Re: 'Witts' Kraal   Wed Jun 06, 2018 10:36 am

Quote: "I also have never read of evidence , stating the bodies at the Manzimnyama were indeed collected in bags.
Map prepared by Boast of cairns built, methodology etc.

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Theres a lot of cairns down on the Manzimyama, the bodies would have been spread over a large area.

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PostSubject: Re: 'Witts' Kraal   Wed Jun 06, 2018 11:14 am

Another thought on the Newman map. He makes a point of saying that it is compiled from memory - and yet it is astonishingly detailed. I would put money on it also being derived from something else, or at the very least after extensive consultation with others that were there. He cannot personally have seen all that. There is the reconnaissance map referred to by Edward Durnford produced by a Captain Heneage RE - not so far discovered so far as I am aware. I do not know enough about Digby Willoughby but he sounds like quite a character!

Steve Reinstadtler
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PostSubject: Re: 'Witts' Kraal   Wed Jun 06, 2018 11:43 am

Steve
There are aspects of that he could only get from someone that had the first hand knowledge, remember he wasn't at the battle. He also could not have known anything about the RB or Durnford, again without first hand knowledge. He moaned at Helpmakaar about the lack of information and nobody would talk to him. So where did that info come from, theres really only one source ( Fred disagrees with me).
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PostSubject: Re: 'Witts' Kraal   Wed Jun 06, 2018 11:59 am

You're a willy old angler Frank Allewell! - the fish has taken the fly. Give us the theory, and why Fred (who knows a thing or two) disagrees.

Steve
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PostSubject: Re: 'Witts' Kraal   Wed Jun 06, 2018 12:07 pm

Bonjour Frank,
I don't really disagree with you.
In my opinion, there is one source for sure and maybe three others minor sources.Wink
Amitié.
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PostSubject: Re: 'Witts' Kraal   Wed Jun 06, 2018 12:21 pm

Bonjour Steve,
I read that you wrote on this thread, "Another thought on the Newman map. He makes a point of saying that it is compiled from memory - and yet it is astonishingly detailed. I would put money on it also being derived from something else, or at the very least after extensive consultation with others that were there".
So several sources for you.... Very Happy
Amitié
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PostSubject: Re: 'Witts' Kraal   Wed Jun 06, 2018 12:24 pm

First people into PMB were. Berning of the NMR followed by Harry Davies and Walter Stafford. Davies was out with Durnford and had first hand knowledge of the RB demise having rescued Nourse. Noggs arrived in PMB on the 25th, I think.
Also of interest on the way down Noggs met up with a Lt Penrose, Kings Own, who made a sketch of the battle ( Published in the Graphic). Im bloody sure JY will come up with that.
Just my theory, hopefully we can entice Fred in to give his comments.
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PostSubject: Re: 'Witts' Kraal   Wed Jun 06, 2018 12:25 pm

And it worked.
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PostSubject: Re: 'Witts' Kraal   Wed Jun 06, 2018 12:33 pm

Frank,
You wrote: " Davies was out with Durnford and had first hand knowledge of the RB demise having rescued Nourse".
Totally agree.
Fred
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PostSubject: Re: 'Witts' Kraal   Wed Jun 06, 2018 12:48 pm

Escaped also to PMB:
-Conductor Foley (From "England' sons": "escaped via Fugitives' Drift to Helpmekaar, thence to Pietermaritzburg".
Lieutenant T. Vaines 1/3 NN [From "England's sons: ""escaped via Fugitives' Drift to Helpmekaar (possibly) to Pietermaritzburg"].
Frank, I had frogotten Berning...

For sure, NN knew Foley during the Zulu war (his testimony is quoted in NN's book).
According to Harford and NN himself, NN attached "himself" to the NNC before Isandhlwana.
So, Vaines was probably a "friend" of him...
Amitié.
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PostSubject: Re: 'Witts' Kraal   Wed Jun 06, 2018 1:19 pm

As you could gather Steve, Fred and I have had lengthy discussions on this.
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PostSubject: Re: 'Witts' Kraal   Wed Jun 06, 2018 1:27 pm

It's Frank who wrote this (excellent) analysis about potential NN's informants. Salute
I just played "advocate's devil".
Cheers
Frédéric

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PostSubject: Re: 'Witts' Kraal   Wed Jun 06, 2018 2:04 pm

Found the map by Cptn. Digby Willoughby NNC referred to by JY. As John said, same as Newman's. Appeared in The Graphic on 29 March 1879. Question is whose was first?
Cannot find a map by Penrose though.
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PostSubject: Re: 'Witts' Kraal   Wed Jun 06, 2018 2:25 pm

A 'cleaned up' version of NN's map was published in the Daily Telegraph on the 6th March. The Digby Willoughby is a direct copy of that. A key element on tying the various copies together, here and on other maps is the indication of the first position of the guns.
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PostSubject: Re: 'Witts' Kraal   Wed Jun 06, 2018 2:51 pm

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PostSubject: Re: 'Witts' Kraal   Wed Jun 06, 2018 3:17 pm

Frank,
Who did give to NN the information about the first position of the guns?
Cheers.
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PostSubject: Re: 'Witts' Kraal   Wed Jun 06, 2018 4:09 pm

Hi Frederic
Who ever it was got it completely wrong. That's why its easy to trace the maps various traces.
Cheers
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PostSubject: Re: 'Witts' Kraal   Wed Jun 06, 2018 4:09 pm

That's the one, thanks Andy
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PostSubject: Re: 'Witts' Kraal   Wed Jun 06, 2018 7:06 pm

Gents
N-N compiled the map after his trip down to PMB in the week after Isandhlwana.  
Surely when you look at the info on the map that he didn't provide from his own knowledge of the camp it's fairly clear who his informants might have been.  It's fairly easy to exclude certain persons (Gardner, Curling, etc.) to reduce the list.  There are several candidates.


Last edited by Julian Whybra on Thu Jun 07, 2018 6:52 am; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: 'Witts' Kraal   Wed Jun 06, 2018 8:26 pm

Is there a possibility (and this is just a theory) that when Witt came back down off Shiyane and in his excited state told the defenders of what he had seen, someone may have remembered what he said about a kraal. This was then passed on to Newman when he was at RD who made a note of it and put it on his map a week later. I know he was shown no hospitality or civility by the defenders but he may have picked up a few scraps of information as journalists have a habit of doing.
Very Happy
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PostSubject: Re: 'Witts' Kraal   Wed Jun 06, 2018 8:35 pm

Ouch!
Need to study again " In Zululand with the British Army..."
Incidentally, the own words of NN about the map are;
"During the week following my journey back to Pietermaritzburg I drew out a rough sketch-plan of the camp at Isandwhlana and the surrounding country from memory...".
So, NN Drew the map after his arrival at PMB and not during his trip to PMB.
Cheers
Frédéric

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PostSubject: Re: 'Witts' Kraal   Wed Jun 06, 2018 8:53 pm

Page 70 (Greenhill edition) Fredrick, is N-N summing up his response to his arrival at RD. Its not positive.
I'm not a great fan of N-N (as I think most people back then weren't)
Alan hated N-N for what he wrote about his conduct after Isandlwana and from his hospital bed at Kambula wrote:-

'..However I should have liked to have had some fun with the bloody man. If he comes up here, he is to be turned out of camp and unfortunately I can't give him a licking now'

Very Happy
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PostSubject: Re: 'Witts' Kraal   Wed Jun 06, 2018 9:29 pm

Bonsoir Gardner 1879,
The bashing campaign against Gardner is intriguing.
For example the 2nd testimony quoted in "For God, Queen and Colony" about Gardner at Hlobane: " I can affirm that honour on that occasion is due to Lieutenant-Adjutant Biecher, of Woods Irregulars, for I was standing within three yards of the gallant Captain, when he implored Biecher to assist him, and I saw him carried on Biecher’s crupper across the nek, between the pass and the lower plateau, and through a heavy cross fire from the Zulus”.
Personnally, I see a sarcasm between the words "gallant Captain" and "implored" / "on Biecher's crupper".
As you know, this comment is in contradiction with Buller's Official despatch about the behaviour of Gardner at Hlobane -and Buller was not compassionate with the alleged "cowards"....

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PostSubject: Re: 'Witts' Kraal   Wed Jun 06, 2018 9:58 pm

Absolutely Fredric Salute Salute
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PostSubject: Re: 'Witts' Kraal   Wed Jun 06, 2018 10:35 pm

Kate

A good thought, but the thing that mitigates a bit against the idea that Newman picked up the location of the Kraal from Witt is that he in fact marks 3 Kraals west of Isandhlwana. This is repeated in the Holden and Willoughby maps and, interestingly, in Wyld's map and Cptn. Ansty's in the Narrative. Undoubtedly Newman consulted with others when completing the map, but I find it hard to believe that any of them would have bothered with the location of Kraals as part of their stories. I still have a feeling that there must have been an earlier blueprint on which he based features like the Kraals.

Steve
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PostSubject: Re: 'Witts' Kraal   Wed Jun 06, 2018 11:02 pm

Hi

Just a thought - Noggs would have rode past the Kraals going to Isandlwana and also going back to RD (in whatever state of mind he was in).

Maybe he just remembered them being there - travel was slower in those days with perhaps more time to take things in (not zipping along in car) - especially being a journalist.

Cheers

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PostSubject: Re: 'Witts' Kraal   Wed Jun 06, 2018 11:44 pm

In Zululand with the British Army (Ed ; Leonaur)
“I once resolved to start that some evening [23th / from Rorke’s Drift] and ride straight to Pieter Maritzburg so as to be in time to telegraph the news to Cape town…” (p.85)
Isandhlwana’s survivor at Rorke’s Drift: Adendorff (He subsequently rode to PMB / source; England’s sons)
“I started all alone, from Rorke’s Drift to Helpmakaar, at 3.30 p.m. on Thursday the 23rd of January” (p.86).
There were many Isandhlwana’s survivors at Helpmekaar the 23 January.
Did he take the time to talk to the survivors? it's unlikely. NN was mostly obsessed with organizing his trip to PMB. He himself told that he was very badly received by the soldiers/ officers  of the garrison.(p.86).

“Leaving at daybreak, I reached Sand Spruit…in the early morning [24th] (p.87)
Lt Andrews (NNP corps) escaped to Sand Spruit (source; England’s sons)
.When did Andrews left Sand Spruit?
Pte Edwards (IMI) escaped to Sand Spruit, thence to Rorke’s Drift, Helpmekaar and Umsinga. Ditto for Whelan (IMI) / Source England’s sons
25 January, he rode to Greytown which he reached at 7 a.m.
It seems that NN reached PMB the 25th January (I am not yet sure).
For sure, he was at PMB the 27th January (Standard 1 March 1879)
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PostSubject: Witt's Kraal    Thu Jun 07, 2018 6:37 am

Frank my turn to disagree , no mention of bones being collected in bags on the banks of the Manzimnyama in that link , as was stated in other Boast reports . I actually sent that report to be posted here Very Happy Very Happy several years ago . Salute
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PostSubject: Re: 'Witts' Kraal   Thu Jun 07, 2018 6:53 am

Thanks Fred, I stand corrected.
Adendorff is a 'might have ridden' rather than 'rode'.
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PostSubject: Re: 'Witts' Kraal   Thu Jun 07, 2018 7:10 am

Morning Gary.
I never mentioned 'Bones being collected in bags.' But the fact that there are a lot of cairns on the Manzimyama would be a pointer to bodies having been collected. Boast maps them. So however they were 'harvested' its patently self evident they were.
Boast himself comments: "CROSSED THE WAGON ROAD AND SEARCHED BETWEEN THE WAGON ROAD AND DONGA WHICH RUNS ALMOST PARALLEL TO THE ROAD. ON COMPLETION OF MY DUTY THERE I FOLLOWED THE LINE TO FUGITIVES DRIFT. ALTOGETHER 298 SEPERATE GRAVES WERE DUG AND USUALLY FROM 2 – 4 SKELETONS OR REMAINS WERE DEPOSITED IN EACH"
Unless that is we assume that the gallant men died in regular lines and heaps, and that would be rather far fetched. They did of course on top of Spion Kop, but that was in a trench.

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PostSubject: Witt's Kraal    Thu Jun 07, 2018 7:30 am

Hi Frank
If they were collected in Bags as you believe ,  I doubt there would be '' 298 separate Graves '' as he mentions , surely they'd be bundled into a far less number of pits ? . still no mention of the word ' bag' as being used along the Fugitives , and certainly not mentioned as being used on the banks of the Manzimnyama ,  as is used when describing the Burials on the plain ,  or in the camp itself of Isandlwana. Sorry , I agree to disagree Very Happy Salute Salute . Actually let's not forget that the area where the ' Anstey ' Cairns are located isn't a large area at all , they are located on a reasonably small flattish area ,  which is bordered by two very deep donga's , and the Manzimnyama itself , which is the reason they were overtaken and killed in that area , all 40 - 60 of them , they had no where to go once they reached the Manzimnyama stream . So Yes , I do believe they died all in the one place , and not collected as you believe .
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PostSubject: Re: 'Witts' Kraal   Thu Jun 07, 2018 7:57 am

Hi,

Logically you would think that some 'container' (for want of a better word) would have been used to collect the bones and move them to a grave. Even if just moving the larger remains of each soldier (lets face it majority of the fellows smaller bones would be left lost in the vegetation etc) - it would still be a laborious task.

Many years ago I have excavated a number of burial sites (in one case a 'reused' one - which was really confusing) in the UK but in those cases the bodies were buried 'intact' - not left for predation etc before hand.

What was Boast actually burying? - please don't take that as a silly question - I think that the (majority) of Volunteers were buried first and the majority of the 24th in May/June 79 by Black (was it, can't remember?) - I think I read something that it was insisted that the identifiable 24th were left to be buried by the regiment.

Cheers

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PostSubject: Re: 'Witts' Kraal   Thu Jun 07, 2018 8:08 am

Bonjour Julian,
Thanks. Point taken (about Adendorff).
Amitié.
Fred
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PostSubject: Re: 'Witts' Kraal   Thu Jun 07, 2018 8:12 am

SRB
Boast was by and large RE-BURYING, the bodies having been uncovered or exposed by the effect of the rains.
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PostSubject: Re: 'Witts' Kraal   Thu Jun 07, 2018 8:20 am

The bags are mentioned somewhere...Bromhead's report?
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PostSubject: Re: 'Witts' Kraal   Thu Jun 07, 2018 9:29 am

Again ive never mentioned the word 'bags'. Im trying to get my head around what you believe Gary. There are close to 20 separate cairns along the Manzimyama. So your contention is that the men died in generally straight lines piled on top of each other so that some mystery force could pop along and cover them with stones.
Sublime to the ridiculous mate, i think your just taking the mickey. Joker At least I hope so.
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PostSubject: Re: 'Witts' Kraal   Thu Jun 07, 2018 11:01 am

Sorry, I don't have much time at the moment but am sending this from David Jackson...
In Feb 1883 boast reburied and erected stone cairns over the bodies. 298 graves were dug and covered with stones. The modern site contains 220 graves and nine monuments (incl. Younghusband's cairn and a large cairn on the nek BUT not a third large cairn in the 1/24th camp - these three having been built by Bromhead's party). Part of the difference between Boast's map of 298 and the modern map of 220 are 20 graves along the further reaches of Fugitives' Trail (i.e. beyond the limit of the modern map). It does seem however that about 40 cairns have disappeared on the section of track from the nek to the Manzimnyama, many of these among the gullies leading into the stream, i.e. they have been washed away.
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PostSubject: Re: 'Witts' Kraal   Thu Jun 07, 2018 11:30 am

There are so many myths and mysteries connected with iSandlwana, most of which have no real basis in fact.
The 'Anstey' stand is one of them.
There is no doubt whatsoever that a significant number of men reached the Manzimyama and again a significant number died on the way down the slope. There are small cairns, limited clusters etc stretching from the neck down to the L shaped grouping. From there large numbers of cairns are grouped in a series of rows down to the final one on the banks of the Manzimyama itself. Either side and in front of that group are/were a large number of cairns all indicating centres of resistance.
We have no idea which of those groups were the first to die and which were the last.
The Victorian taste for melodrama and the need to take out some form of positives from a crushing defeat have combined to create this heroic picture of the brave men in red back to back struggling to the death. This has translated or morphed into this fabled last stand of the 24th lead by the brave Lt Anstey.
In actuality we don't know that Anstey was in that large grouping or if he continued fighting with a breakaway section being forced along the banks of the Manzimyathi down through the dongas and wash aways ( almost certainly not as bad as they are today ) with that force being whittled away by the chasing Zulu.
There exists this possibility and while it exists it cannot be said with any certainty exactly when the brave Lt actually succumbed. Just as the fables surrounding Custer being the last man alive, was Anstey the last man, or was he targeted because of his bearing or statue indicating his officer status and did he succumb before the end. Its a fable without an end because we will never know.
Family history or Regimental history may say he gained the Manzimyama, there may even be suggestions he died surrounded by his men. But where and by how many men? Could he have survived that massive push that decemated his final group killing off 50 to 60 men? Could he have fought a further rearguard action along the river desperately looking for some where to cross with the last couple of dozen, the cairns are certainly there to indicated groups succumbing. If that possibility does exist then the possibility of the traditional last stand may well be just another myth.
Just my take, sorry if it offends.
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rusteze

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PostSubject: Re: 'Witts' Kraal   Thu Jun 07, 2018 12:06 pm

"20 graves along the further reaches of the Fugitives Trail" and "40 cairns have disappeared on the section of the neck to the Manzimnyama". What's that, 150 or more buried and reburied?
All this agonising over brave Anstey is beginning to annoy me very much when 149 don't even have a bloody name!

Steve Reinstadtler
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SRB1965

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PostSubject: Re: 'Witts' Kraal   Thu Jun 07, 2018 12:18 pm

Frank Allewell wrote:
Just as the fables surrounding Custer being the last man alive

You mean he wasn't.......

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I have always wondered about officer casualties - I (assume) that they would (in a last stand situation) stand an equal chance of being hit by fire......and perhaps leading from the front, more chance of being killed in melee - targeted because of the shiny sword and obviously being an induna - the prestige of a Zulu killing an enemy leader - something to boast and giya about.

As far as I can figure out (I maybe/no doubt will be wrong) but the only persons attributable to a 'last stand' are AWD and maybe Shepstone. We don't know if Younghusband led the way down hill - as Snook says - if he was still alive and un injured at this point - he would have.

It does seem too easy (without further evidence) to attribute (say) 'C' Company's Charge to Younghusbands Charge etc - because that, was the Victorian ideal....

I remember some years ago, reading that Anstey (?) was on the saddle at one point and he waved cheerfully at some retreating horsemen.

cheers

Sime


Last edited by SRB1965 on Thu Jun 07, 2018 12:20 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Frank Allewell

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PostSubject: Re: 'Witts' Kraal   Thu Jun 07, 2018 12:19 pm

Having a bad day Steve? Rolling Eyes
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rusteze

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PostSubject: Re: 'Witts' Kraal   Thu Jun 07, 2018 1:07 pm

No, not particularly. It strikes me that the often well to do officer's families who had the wherewithal to place memorials, or obituaries or even repatriate bodies - plus the inevitable focus of regimental histories on their officers - still has an impact. We know more about them (whether true or myth) and I am not sure we can change it in any way. But for me it is the continuation of the British class system, even in death.

End of sermon!

Steve
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Frank Allewell

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PostSubject: Re: 'Witts' Kraal   Thu Jun 07, 2018 1:23 pm

The way of the world Steve. But what is interesting is that for probably the first time we are more exposed to the ordinary working class soldier after Rorkes Drift. An awesum amount of detail, letters etc. So possibly iSandlwana was the turning point.
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xhosa2000

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PostSubject: Re: 'Witts' Kraal   Thu Jun 07, 2018 1:36 pm

But for me it is the continuation of the British class system, even in death...........

It was ever thus!.. and continue's now... The Grenfell fire ( yes named after the Grenfell ), took
place in one of London's wealthiest borough's, except for the corner where the poor people
lived!. one can read about the disgusting response of that council.. one rule for everybody except
the rich elite, where normal rules do not apply.. with the advent of instantaneous global mass
communication it is getting even harder to swallow the images of the rich elite as they suck the
very marrow out of our beautiful world. rotten parasites, who use war or the threat of it to keep
the masses down. just my opinion.. and i'm having a great day.
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rusteze

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PostSubject: Re: 'Witts' Kraal   Thu Jun 07, 2018 2:02 pm

I take your point about RD. But I do not think the turning point came until the Great War and the serried lines of headstones we see today - officer or other rank, it matters not.

Steve
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Frank Allewell

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PostSubject: Re: 'Witts' Kraal   Thu Jun 07, 2018 2:18 pm

When we were in Sarawak and Aden rank only existed operationaly but by then insignia wasn't worn.
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PostSubject: Re: 'Witts' Kraal   Thu Jun 07, 2018 4:03 pm

SRB
That was Daly waving not drowning.
All
This thread could go on and on without resolution. All that can be said from an historical perspective is that there is a note in the Regimental Archives that a group of men with Anstey reached the Manzimnyama before succumbing. However there is no provenance for this note and other primary evidence to support it apart from the burial cairns which show a number of burial cairns in that area.
All
As a by the by David Jackson, who interviewed Anstey's descendants in the late 50s, recorded the items removed from Anstey's body but saw no sign of a letter or any other document from Anstey's brother saying where the body was found. I shall check with him again today and write again if he has remembered anything further.
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